It’s tough to be a Christian group on college campuses these days. I mean, everyone expects you to play by the rules, even though we all know Christians deserve special rights that allow them to discriminate against LGBT students and their allies.
We saw this at Bowdoin College in Maine last month, when leaders of the Bowdoin Christian Fellowship were about to lose their designation as an official campus group (with all the privileges that come with it) because they really really really wanted to make sure nobody who supported LGBT-rights had the opportunity to become a leader of their group. School administrators, on the other hand, refused to allow official campus groups to discriminate for any reason.
Today, leaders of InterVarsity Christian Fellowship, one of the more well-known national college Christian groups, made a plea for their members to take a stand against the California State University system. Here’s IVCF President Alec Hill:
Two years ago, the former Cal State chancellor issued a new policy that requires recognized student groups to accept all students as potential leaders. While we applaud inclusivity, we believe that faith-based communities like ours can only be led by people who clearly affirm historic Christian doctrine. The policy exempts sororities and fraternities from gender discrimination; we believe there should be a similar provision for creedal communities…
In August 2013, the new chancellor, Timothy White, graciously granted religious groups a one-year exemption for the 2013-14 school year. That time period is rapidly coming to a close.
Both the Old and New Testaments (e.g., Psalm 91 and Acts 12) speak of times when God’s people, faced with significant challenges, entered into community prayer. We are dependent on God in all things and He invites us to make known to Him our petitions in prayer.
Their “stand” consists of praying and fasting and not doing anything actually effective, so I suppose we shouldn’t be *too* worried.
Still, let’s remember what exactly they’re freaked out about.
Under the universities’ rules, groups like InterVarsity have to open up membership to students who are LGBT, as well as their straight allies. Why would anyone who supports LGBT rights want to join a group that so steadfastly fights against them? Who knows. How many students per campus believe in, say, marriage equality and that acting on one’s homosexuality is some sort of sin? It can’t be many. And it doesn’t matter anyway because InterVarsity (and other similar Christian groups) have said they have no problem opening up membership to that (small) group of people.
What people like Hill are worried about is that those people are going to run for leadership positions and get elected!
Not only is the likelihood of that happening slim to none, it assumes that there are LGBT allies who would want to run an organization that holds such disgusting views.
That’s what they’re praying to prevent.
Trust me: Gay-friendly students are in no rush to join — much less take over — Campus Crusade for Christ groups.
Regardless, Hill’s letter to IVCF members urges them to pray that a resolution is reached to allow “InterVarsity chapters to remain viable members of CSU communities.” Because if they have to play by the same rules as everybody else, why even bother existing anymore?!
Cry me a river. The rules are just fine as is. You had plenty of time to discriminate. Now you have to join the rest of civilized society. No one’s telling you that you can’t be bigots. But if you want the campus to recognize you as an official campus group and give you free meeting space, access to grant money, the ability to set up tables at activity fairs, and so much more, you have to play by the same rules as every other student group on campus.